Tony Gonchar, CEO of ASTA, praised steps taken last month by President Barack Obama to elevate travel and tourism to a fuller role in rebuilding the U.S. economy.
“President Obama has recognized the potential of the tourism sector to create more jobs, add fiscal growth to our national economy and improve our balance of trade,” said Gonchar. “ASTA is particularly pleased to see the focus on increasing visa waiver countries, reducing visa interviews and visa issuance waiting times and streamlining access to the U.S. by making the Global Entry Program permanent.”
Other tourism organizations praised Obama’s announcement. Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO, Mike McCartney, said in a statement that the announcement to increase travel and tourism in the U.S. will help provide an estimated 154,000 jobs.
George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, said that NYC & Company believes that increasing the number of visitors to the U.S. will be a boost to the city and national economies.
California congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) said, “Tourism is a vital economic engine with the potential of creating and supporting millions of jobs and spurring much needed economic development.”